Nurses protest at Emek Yezreel College 370.
(photo credit: Hadar Zevulun)
Unsatisfied with the Tel Aviv Labor Court’s ruling earlier this week that it
would not at this time issue restraining orders against nurses who have adopted
sanctions, the Tel Aviv District Attorney filed an appeal on Thursday to the
National Labor Court.
The case was due to be heard that night.
Tel Aviv court judge had stated that the Treasury was not genuinely negotiating
and that the nurses had a right to apply sanctions. But the Treasury, which has
said it cannot negotiate a new wage contract with the nurses or promise higher
budgets before the Knesset elections take place, objected to the
Thursday was the 12th day of 28,000 nurses’ protest against
public hospitals and Health Ministry facilities, but for the last two days, the
sanctions have been eased to allow nurses to work in Clalit Health Services’
In its appeal to the national court, the government
said that restraining orders were necessary to prevent even more harm to public
health from the reduced Shabbat or emergency schedules that have been in force
during the last two weeks.
Talks between the state and the nurses’ union
took place on Wednesday, but they were fruitless.
Thousands of operations
and coronary catheterizations have been postponed as a result of the sanctions,
as have vaccinations of children in schools and well-baby clinics around the
country. In addition, many thousands of examinations and treatments at hospital
outpatient clinics and diagnostic institutes have been canceled.
nurses held demonstrations outside various hospitals on Thursday.
Sunday, maintenance workers, technicians and administrative personnel at all 14
Clalit-owned hospitals will hold sympathy protests outside their hospitals at 10
a.m. to identify with the nurses. They will return to work after the
Hadash MK Dov Henin accused the government of instituting
“a murderous [financial] diet in the health system” that has created a severe
shortage of nurses, doctors and hospital beds. He announced a proposal for
reforming the system and making it more egalitarian. It includes the
cancellation of privatizing the school health services and psychiatric care, and
restoring them to government responsibility. It also calls for a reinstatement
of the “parallel tax,” in which employees contribute money to the healthcare of
its workers, that was canceled when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in his
first term as premier.
Also on Sunday, nursing students in several parts
of the country will stop their studies for two hours, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.,
and hold “support assemblies” instead, it was announced on Thursday night. The
affected nursing schools are at the University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University,
Tel Aviv University, the Safed Academic College and the Yezreel Valley Academic
Uri Rashtik, chairman of the Students Association, said that it
supported the nurses’ struggle for the future of the profession and the health
system. The protesters will wear white coats and carry stethoscopes.